The purpose of this investigation is to develop the fundamental materials and fabrication technology for field-controlled spectrally active optics that are essential for industry, NASA, and DOD applications such as: membrane optics, filters for LIDARs, windows for sensors, telescopes, spectroscopes, cameras, flat-panel displays, etc. ScN and AlN thin films were fabricated on c-axis Sapphire (0001) or quartz substrate with the RF and DC magnetron sputtering. The crystal structure of AlN in fcc (rocksalt) and hcp (wurtzite) were controlled. Advanced electrical characterizations were performed, including I-V and Hall Effect Measurement. ScN film has a free carrier density of 5.8 x 10(exp 20)/per cubic centimeter and a conductivity of 1.1 x 10(exp 3) per centimeter. The background ntype conductivity of as-grown ScN has enough free electrons that can readily interact with the photons. The high density of free electrons and relatively low mobility indicate that these films contain a high level of shallow donors as well as deep levels. Also, the UV-Vis spectrum of ScN and AlN thin films with rare earth elements (Er or Ho) were measured at room temperature. Their optical band gaps were estimated to be about 2.33eV and 2.24eV, respectively, which are obviously smaller than that of undoped thin film ScN (2.4eV). The red-shifted absorption onset gives direct evidence for the decrease of band gap (Eg) and the energy broadening of valence band states are attributable to the doping. As the doped elements enter the ScN crystal lattices, the localized band edge states form at the doped sites with a reduction of Eg. Using a variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometer, the decrease in refractive index with applied field is observed with a smaller shift in absorption coefficient.